It’s there to help protect your ear and keep it clean and healthy, but your earwax is far more important than you realise.
Just like the colour of your urine, the consistency of your stool, and the colour of your mucous can reveal something about your health, so too can you earwax. Check out this information before you reach for a cotton tip.
It’s green or yellow
Your earwax can range in colour from light orange to dark brown and that’s normal, but if yours is yellow, green, white or even black it is a sign you could have an infection and a trip to the doctor might be in order.
Read more: How to improve your hearing
This happens as you get older. However, if your earwax and ear canal skin is dry and flaky you could actually have eczema. You might experience some soreness along with the dry flaky earwax and this could be an indicator of psoriasis.
It has a funky odour
Earwax should never smell, so if yours does there’s definitely something going on and you need to see your doctor. You could have an infection or it could be damage to your middle ear, both of which have a number of symptoms including stinky earwax. Additionally, if it is a middle ear issue, you might have picked up on some problems with your sense of balance, you might have a feeling that your ear is full or blocked, or you could have a ringing in your ears.
It’s leaking out of you
If you feel like your earwax is a bit wetter than usual there could be a couple of causes. First, it could be that you’ve just done a massive exercise routine and you have sweat, but second — and this is serious — if you wake up with earwax on your pillow or you have crusty bits stuck to your ear lobes then it’s a sign of an ear infection or some sort of chronic ear disease.
Read more: Eight home remedies for earaches
It makes your ears itchy
If you find yourself desperately scratching around in your ear canal trying to alleviate an itch it could be a sign there is something wrong. You might want to see a doctor to remove any excess earwax or earwax that is close to your eardrum.
It doesn’t seem to exist
It’s not uncommon for your earwax to ‘disappear’, but the danger with your ear not producing enough earwax is that you might not be able to hear out of that particular ear. Other issues you might experience as a result of not producing earwax include earache; a ringing, buzzing or similar noise in the ear; and a feeling of fullness in the ear.